Will the communist nation open itself to U.S. trade?
President Obama's historic announcement in December 2014 that he wants to normalize relations with Cuba, coupled with the easing of restrictions on travel and commerce, has unleashed a huge wave of interest by U.S. companies in the island nation. Some experts warn this enthusiasm is premature, noting that a 56-year-long U.S. embargo against Cuba remains in place, the communist-ruled nation's physical infrastructure is crumbling and its legal, banking and currency systems are byzantine. Some analysts, however, see big opportunities for American businesses able to gain a foothold on the island. Cuba is a market of 11 million people just 90 miles from Florida, and it is in dire need of all types of products and services. But any progress in trade and investment depends largely on politics on both sides of the Florida Straits. As businesses and others ponder the possibilities, these are some of the questions they are asking: Is Cuba ready for increased trade with the United States? Is foreign investment safe in Cuba? Can U.S. companies make money in Cuba?
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The Next Step
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1775 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20036
Centrist think tank whose Latin America Initiative researches issues facing Cuba.
Chamber of Commerce of Cuba
Calle 21, No. 661 Esq. a A Vedado, Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba
Cuba's national business advocacy organization.
Council of the Americas
1615 L St., N.W., Suite 250, Washington, DC 20036
Business think tank dedicated to free trade, open markets and democracy in Cuba and throughout the Americas.
Cuban American National Foundation
2147 S.W. 8th St., Miami, FL 33135
Organization founded by Cuban exiles in 1981 that lobbies for the embargo and for ways to promote democracy in Cuba.
400 N.W. 26th St., #23, Miami, FL 33127
Political advocacy organization that favors normalizing diplomatic and trade relations with Cuba.
Cuba Study Group
2308 Mount Vernon Ave., #150, Alexandria, VA 22301
Organization of business leaders seeking to help Cuba move to a market-based economy.
Embassy of the Republic of Cuba
2630 16th St., N.W., Washington, DC 20009
Opened in 2015, the embassy includes an economic and trade office that provides information on Cuban regulations governing import-export activities.
U.S. Department of State
2201 C St., N.W., Washington, DC 20520
Oversees diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States and, among other things, provides statistical information on Cuba.
U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control
1500 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20220
Administers and enforces U.S. foreign trade and economic sanctions, including the Cuba embargo.